Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ch. 1 - The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood

If you have spent any time with me at all, you know who my favorite pastor is. All together now . . . John Piper! You've no doubt heard me expound upon all of his worthy attributes in glowing terms, so I won't go into that today (maybe). Suffice it to say, though, that I'm thrilled that the very first chapter in Voices of the True Woman Movement is authored by him. I remember hearing this message on the CDs from the True Woman '08 conference. Michael & I listened to it repeatedly, it was so fantastic. The chapter is no less electric. I'll attempt not to constantly quote him word-for-word, but - I'll warn you - that will be hard, because he's got such quotable thoughts!

Three points stand out for me in this chapter entitled "The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood".

1) "Wimpy theology makes wimpy women."  I know I said I would try to refrain from quoting Piper word-for-word. I'm going back on my word here, but I guarantee you'll thank me. There's no way I could put this like he does! "Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, & good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ. Wimpy theology is plagued by woman-centeredness & man-centeredness. Wimpy theology doesn't have the granite foundation of God's sovereignty or the solid steel structure of a great God-centered purpose for all things." And don't you find this true in real life? Don't you know women that use human-centered explanations for God rather than God-centered exultations in God? When trials meet this woman, she will whine, complain, get angry, blame Satan, or walk away from God altogether. And, in all truthfulness, she will be more than happy to have her influence come from the culture around her & her own fleshly desires than from God's Word. But, we do have to be careful to define the opposite of wimpy. This sentence made me laugh out loud: "The opposite of a wimpy woman is not a brash, pushy, loud, controlling, sassy, uppity, arrogant Amazon." HA! All of us have known or have been the wimpy woman, & all of us have known or have been the Amazon woman. Some of us have been both. But neither are strong, God-centered women. So, how do we become her?

2) Robust, God-centered theology makes strong, God-centered women.  I can attest from personal experience how life-changing God-centered theology is. Thinking about God correctly - & yes, there is a correct way to think about God - comes from a correct interpretation & application of Scripture. God has given us a way to know Him in His Word. And in that Word, we find a treasure trove that ultimately leads us to the way to know God - Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Savior. Only this robust, God-centered theology can make a young girl choose imprisonment for 38 years until her death rather than reject her faith. Or make a wife choose love & forgiveness for the people whom she & her family had spent 3 decades ministering to, only to have them burn her husband & two young sons alive. Or make her young daughter exclaim praise to God that He had found her father worthy to die for Him. Or make women with physical handicaps trust in God unwaveringly & even rejoice in their infirmities because they've been driven to Him. Or a woman who has lost both her husband & her mother & discovered cancer in her own body realize that what she needs most is not relief from her trials but forgiveness & cleansing from her sin of self-pity & self-centeredness (pg. 18-19 contains all of these examples). This very robust theology is the only thing that was able to free me from years of devastation & anger over my molestation. It was only when I realized how vile & wretched my sin is against our infinitely holy God, & yet He forgave me, that I was able to be cleansed from the sin committed against me. Only robust, God-centered theology leads to cleansing, freeing faith in Christ.

As incredible as all of this is, this only leads up to Piper's main point, which is that:

3) Women are distinctly created by God to bring Him glory in their femininity. Okay, here's the bottom line. Women & men are different. Not just anatomically, but we're created to be different. And our differences are created to complement each other, to bring out the best in each other. I glorify God in my femininity in a way wholly different from how Michael glorifies God in his masculinity. God designed it this way. How? In our roles. Ephesians 5:22-24 says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, & is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." This is the complementarian view of marriage, & it's thoroughly biblical. Remember, this is how we bring out the best in each other & glorify God distinctly. A husband is the loving, protecting, providing, sacrificing head of his wife - just as Christ is for the church. And a wife fulfills her calling in lovingly honoring, affirming, & supporting her husband's leadership in humble submission - just as the church submits to Christ. These are not interchangeable any more than you can interchange Christ & the church in these verses. After all, you can't have the church being the head of Christ & Christ submitting to the church, now can you? The extent to which we faithfully demonstrate these truths in our marriages is the extent to which we reflect Christ & the church to the world.

But, what if you're not married? Piper has a section devoted to how women can glorify God in their femininity through singleness, too. And he gives 3 beautiful examples of this:

     1) It demonstrates to the world that only faith in Christ grows God's family,

     2) It demonstrates to the world that your family in Christ is more permanent & precious than your family by blood,

     3) It demonstrates that marriage is temporary by pointing to Christ & the church, for whom marriage is simply a mirror.

"God's ultimate purpose in creating the world & choosing to let it become the sin-wracked world that it is, is so that the greatness of the glory of Christ could be put on display at Calvary where He bought His rebellious bride at the cost of His life." (pg. 19-20).

No wimpy theology there.

Voices of the True Woman Movement - Introduction

Voices swirl around us every day. Voices speaking to us, calling to us, exhorting us to listen to & believe them. The siren call comes from out of the movies & TV programs we watch, the music we listen to, the books & magazines we read. It even comes to us in the voices of our friends, family, &, yes, our own thoughts. And these voices may carry life or death into our lives, depending on their message.

     "So much is determined by which voices we hear & heed: our sense of who we are & why we are here; the way we relate to others; the choices we make; the way we spend our moments & years; our personal, emotional, & spiritual well-being; & yes, the ultimate outcome of our lives." (pg. 11, Voices of the True Woman Movement)

That's the voice of Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author of Lies Women Believe & the Truth That Sets Them Free & host of Revive Our Hearts. Hers is a voice worth listening to & trusting, because she is influenced - nay, molded & defined - by God. When she speaks, she speaks not from her own opinions & prejudices, but from the authority of God's Word. She studies His Word & she applies it to our lives with amazing wisdom, insight, & love.

Hers is just one voice in the True Woman Movement. This is a movement dedicated to "calling women to be 'true women' of God, to anchor their lives in His Word, to live out what it means to be redeemed women, & to embrace His calling for their lives" (pg. 13). The book Voices of the True Woman Movement is a result of the first True Woman conference that took place in 2008. This book is going to be the focus of my next several posts. As this was one of the top books on my wish list, I eagerly signed up to get this book for free in exchange for blogging about each chapter. I have listened to Nancy for more than 3 years now, including going through her "True Woman Makeover" twice, & have never failed to walk away with an enriched faith in God. She constantly encourages me that I can be a godly woman in all of my roles through the strength of Christ. Hers is a message of life - everlasting life as only found in the life, death, & resurrection of Jesus Christ. Please join me as she & so many others speak these life-giving words into our lives.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Memories of Granny

Mama just started a blog about my Granny. You've heard me mention both of them before, particularly in my Recipe of the "Week" posts. Mama was also featured in a post about the Proverbs 31 woman, but I realized today that a post dedicated to my sweet Granny is way overdue.

My Granny is 89. She has dementia & lives with Mama & Dad. She forgets a lot of things, like where she left her purse (although I have that problem myself from time to time!) & that she's not allowed to go into the kitchen (although, sometimes I think she feigns forgetfulness just out of sheer stubbornness!). She makes a PB&J sandwich & then puts the knife back in the drawer. She can't remember whether she's washed her hair or not. She sometimes eats lunch twice because she doesn't remember having eaten it the first time.  She cries out of complete frustration because she knows something's wrong & she can't stop it. All of this is true of her, but this isn't what defines her. Let me tell you about my Granny.

Granny taught 2nd grade for over 20 years. She used to take Chris & me up to the school when we stayed with her. We got to play on the playground & in their blue-carpeted gym. (Uh-huh, you read that right.) She would take us to Claiborne's gas station for a BBQ sandwich & down to the snow cone stand on hot summer days. She lived in a little town where everyone knew everyone, & where I am related to probably half of the population. Her house was sort of in the country, or at least it felt like that because of the woods that were directly across the street on two sides. She & I would go for walks, me totally slathered in OFF & any other insect repellant you could think of, while she went completely unprotected. And who had mosquitoes & every other bug imaginable literally dive-bombing their head?! That's right - ME! True story!!

Granny is a wonderful grandmother. Chris & I used to love staying at her house. As a matter of fact, my fondest childhood memories come from those times. They're nothing fancy; just simple fun. Chris & me making "forts" out of pine straw in the backyard. Playing "Go Fish" on the living room floor. Coloring in the Christmas coloring books that she always had on hand for me. Running through the sprinklers while rainbow-water splashed down on us. Drinking her sweet iced tea. Taking a nap in her room & watching the curtains gently blowing in the wind. Remembering those times conjures up feelings of safety & contented coziness. They were the best.

Granny is a petite little lady, sweet as candy, with a laugh that is infectious. But don't let that fool you! Scotch-Irish blood is coursing through those veins, & she can be intimidating. I've only ever seen her angry once in my life, & I don't ever want to see that again! It's the short, sweet, quiet ones you have to watch out for, you know. Granny is the kind of person that everyone loves immediately. She just has that way about her. She's completely endearing & lovely.

She's come to stay with us a couple of times, & each time we made memories that I will always cherish. Again, simple things, like washing the dishes, reading Stepping Heavenward aloud, & playing in the snow. I always think of her when I hear Autumn in New England & when I lay in a quiet room listening to the hum of a ceiling fan & watching the curtains blow.

We never know how much time we have with those we love. I hope that I get to make many, many more memories with Granny. I would love nothing more than for her to be here to see our children. What I do know is that I am blessed with a wonderful grandmother who is affected - but not defined - by dementia. And she is loved.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Butterfly Waltz by Brian Crain

This is so achingly beautiful that it makes me want to cry.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Background. . .

will hopefully return soon.  The Cutest Blog on the Block is moving, & in the meantime, our background is unavailable.  I'll continue to attempt to log in to their site & get it back up, but in the meantime, we'll just have to deal with the white.  White means pure, the absence of darkness, not boring!  ;-)

Ahhhh!  That's better!  I LOVE this background!

Laying a Foundation

For the first time in our marriage so far, we have a big indicator that I might be pregnant. Turns out, I'm just sick. I've wondered for days now if God might finally (well, "finally" in my mind, although that's probably wrong thinking) be granting my heart's desire by giving us children. I couldn't bear to take the test, though, in case it was negative. But my hand was lovingly forced at the doctor's office today. He knows how much we want to have children, & he's a wonderful doctor, so he was genuinely sorry to pronounce the results. At least I know now. But, realizing the possibility has set my mind whirling on how I want things to go if the time ever does come that I am with child. Thinking that I might have a child within me, several things occurred to me:

     -I was more conscious of the attitudes & feelings that I allowed to hold sway. I don't want any sinfully negative feelings to affect our baby. I realize I can't always prevent this - something I've just proven over here; I am human, after all - but that doesn't mean I shouldn't fight against it.

     -I was more conscious of what food I put into my body. I want our child/children to have the healthiest environment possible as they're developing. I do not want their little bodies to be invaded with the harmful chemicals found in so much of our food today, thanks to processing. And then, I want this healthy habit to continue throughout their lives.

     -I was more conscious of the words I allowed to come out of my mouth. Even though a baby at this stage wouldn't be able to hear me, I would want to start a pattern of speech where I'm more in control of my tongue.

     -I began to think of all of the ways that we want to raise our children. How we want them to love God first & foremost & for this to show in their conduct towards others. I thought of all of the things that I need to do - that I need to know - to be the best mother possible.

These are just some of the thoughts that paraded through my mind in the past few days. Even though I'm not pregnant, that doesn't mean that all of this thinking was in vain. I can - no, I must - lay the groundwork for each of these things now. I must have control over my own feelings & over my tongue. I've had a practically life-long battle with attitudes & behaviors towards food, but I must begin that fight again & win this time. In thinking of our baby's health, it occurred to me that I don't want anything unnatural going into my body &, thus, into his/hers. I can start now preparing a healthy environment for any little one that God gives us in the future. I have a strong desire to be a good mother, & that means many things for me. It is difficult for me not to want to be perfect. I want to be firm, but not too strict; disciplined, but not overbearing; methodical, but able to be spontaneous. I want to be loving & fun. I want to be godly. I won't be perfect. I won't be able to do any of this without fail, nor will I be able to do even the smallest part without the help of God. So, with His aid & in His power, I will lay the foundation for physical, mental, & spiritual health & well-being for our future children. And if He doesn't grant us children? Well, I'll still benefit from the sanctification this endeavor will bring. Nothing is ever in vain when done in Christ!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

God's Truth Convicts & Heals

I've been chafing lately under the storms of my life. Granted, I know perfectly well that my "storms" don't even begin to compare with those that are raging through others' lives. Not even close. At one time, that wasn't much help to me, but it is now. Now I realize that even though I may not be as tried as others at the moment, that doesn't diminish the hurt that I feel in the midst of the fire. But it does put things into perspective. So, while I smart over my own gashes & scars, I give thanks that they're not deeper & more lasting than they are, while praying for those whose wounds are very deep & lasting.

One trial after another has washed over me, & the cumulative effect has been for me to grow irritable, selfish, & unmerciful towards others. As only God can ordain things, He has chiseled at me with four successive writings in the last couple of days that have brought me up short. As a result, I have been humbled, made meek. I have been shown my own sin & folly & been sorely ashamed. Sorely ashamed &, yet, healed. I don't think we can really, truly take refuge in the Gospel until we've been brought face-to-face with how abominable our sin is.

The first was this post by my favorite new blog. She quotes from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening (July 11 morning entry). It so gripped my sore & hardened heart that I had to read it for myself in our copy. The most convicting part for me was:

     "But notice how this blessing of being established in the faith is gained. The apostle’s words point us to suffering as the means employed- “After you have suffered a little while.” It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no winds pass over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree and those strange twistings of the branches all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the Christian is made strong and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life. Do not shrink then from the tempestuous winds of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you.

On the heels of this, came this article on Girls Gone Wise. As I read through different women whom I admire who have laid down their very lives for Christ, I was stabbed through the heart again. They laid aside cherished dreams and lived their entire lives in service to God out of love for Christ. And here I am, demanding my own comfort, complaining over a few little inconveniences & aggravations?! Disgusting!

     "When I study these women’s lives, I am astounded and inspired by their level of commitment to Jesus Christ. They didn’t just say He was their first love; they lived it. Whether they gave up their right to be married in order to serve Christ, or gave up the “happily ever after” lifestyle they’d always dreamed of, nothing was more important than protecting the honor of their Lord and King.

So it must be with us."

Not to be outdone, Michael read this to me from Foundations of the Christian Faith by Boice:

     "Self-denial should not be difficult for any Christian to understand for this is what it means to become a Christian. It means to have turned your back on any attempt to please God through your own human abilities and efforts, and instead to have accepted by faith what God has done in Christ for your salvation. . . .Living the Christian life is, therefore, only a matter of continuing in the way we have started." (pg. 461)

He, perhaps unwittingly, touched upon exactly that sore spot that God wanted him to touch. Here I've been demanding my own way, expecting certain loving treatment that I'm entitled to, & refusing to deny my own comfort for the sake of someone else. Then he reads this to me. Ouch.

And then, finally, I picked up my copy of Young Lady's Guide to the Harmonious Development of Christian Character by Harvey Newcomb & opened up to Chapter 4 entitled "Charity". I was immediately convicted, & when I read it aloud to Michael I burst into tears over this:

     "Charity suffers long. It will endure ill treatment, and prefer suffering to strife. It will not resent the first encroachments, but patiently bear with injuries as long as they can be borne. If charity reigns in your heart, you will consider how many and aggravated are your own offences against God, and yet that His long-suffering bears with your perverseness, and He is daily loading you with benefits; and shall you be impatient with the slightest offences from a fellow-worm? Consider, also, how liable you are to encroach upon the rights of others, and to try their patience by your infirmities. Do not, therefore, be hasty in the indulgence of hard thoughts of others, nor impatient of their faults and infirmities. How much contention and strife might be avoided by a little forbearance! And who is there so perfect as not sometimes to need it to be extended toward himself?" (pg. 49-50)

In harboring my sin, I've been so very blind. Thank you, Lord, for giving me sight & melting this cold heart of stone. Grow my roots deep, so that I can suffer long in love, deny myself, & weather the storms of life. Amen.

Recipe of the "Week"

As I look at the picture & contemplate our recipe for this week, I'm beginning to drool.  Thankfully, I have a napkin here, so I'm able to catch it before I mess up my shirt.  This is another one that I grew up on, & also another one that Michael raves over.  The secret to this one is to let it cook long enough.  It must simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or it won't be the right consistency & flavor.  My Granny used to always make this for me; this has always been my well-known favorite, & I hope it becomes one of yours!

Creole Sauce & Rice (w/Cornbread Casserole*)


-1 lb. ground beef
-1 onion
-1 small bell pepper (or 1/2 large bell pepper; I can never seem to find small bell peppers.)
-1 can tomato paste
-2 1/2 cans water (using the now-empty tomato paste can)
-1 T sugar
-salt, pepper, garlic (powder or dry minced - I use dry minced.)


-Cook meat until it's brown & very crumbly (remember from previous posts that I am NOT a fan of big gobs of meat or veggies!).

-Mince the onion & bell pepper (again, big gobs are yucky!  My Cuisinart chopper is very handy for this).

-Add the onion & bell pepper to the meat & cook until the onions are clear.

-Add all other ingredients & combine well.  (It takes a little bit of stirring for the tomato paste to blend.)

-Reduce heat, cover, & simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until thick.  (The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.  It should NOT look like spaghetti sauce, it should have a more "spreadable" consistency.)

-Serve over cooked rice, topped with parmesan cheese (of course, being a HUGE cheese fan, I use lots of parmesan!), with a side of English peas & cornbread casserole.  A pear salad or fruit salad are nice desserts with this meal.

Ingredients for Cornbread Casserole:

-1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
-1 can cream corn
-1 egg
-1/3 c. milk

Directions for Cornbread Casserole:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with foil & grease with cooking spray.

-Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  (It will be lumpy, but all ingredients should be incorporated well.)

-Pour the batter into the loaf pan & bake 15-25 minutes.  It's done when the top of the loaf has turned a golden brown in spots.

*Note:  Whereas the Creole Sauce & Rice recipe originated (for me) with Granny, I got the Cornbread Casserole recipe from Mrs. Judy from GCBC!  Thanks to you both!

P.S.  Follow this link to Heavenly Homemaker for a parade of wonderful recipes!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Not What My Hands" By Aaron Keyes

Listen to this with your eyes closed & really focus on the words.  Revel in the fact that, as God's children, we wear Christ's righteousness.  "And now I wear Your righteousness!"  It's enough to make my hair stand up straight & to make me cry in thankfulness & praise to our gracious God!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ginger's Update

Okay, so here goes another update on the Booger (one of her many nicknames; maybe I should have chosen Ladybug or Baby Girl?).  She had another round of chemo on Thursday, so she's still a little down.  It typically makes her really tired for a couple of days afterwards.  This time she's also had some muscle weakness, particularly in one leg, which has manifested in a limp.  I won't go into my nursely ministrations last night, mainly because you'd think I was crazy, but suffice it to say that she was kept quite comfortable & rested all day & night.  So, the limp is better today & she's been a little more perky.  Now for what Dr. Hammond said when we picked her up. . .We're in another remission.  He ran a CBC & said the numbers were great.  He can't find a single lymph node anywhere on her.  So, now we're back to monitoring.  The last time we went into the "monitoring" phase, we stayed there for just shy of a year.  As I've said before, this was medically impossible, because according to the timelines, she should have lasted only a month & a half.  I'm praying that we get a good outcome this time as well.  Thanks again for your love & prayers.  I'm very grateful.

My Soul Finds Rest - Psalm 62 - Aaron Keyes

My soul finds rest in God alone,
My Rock and my salvation,
A fortress strong against my foes,
And I will not be shaken.
Though lips may bless and hearts may curse,
And lies like arrows pierce me,
I’ll fix my heart on righteousness,
I’ll look to Him who hears me.

O praise Him, hallelujah, My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing, My Redeemer, my God.

Find rest, my soul, in God alone
Amid the world’s temptations;
When evil seeks to take a hold
I’ll cling to my salvation.
Though riches come and riches go,
Don’t set your heart upon them;
The fields of hope in which I sow
Are harvested in heaven.

I’ll set my gaze on God alone,
And trust in Him completely;
With every day pour out my soul,
And He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath,
A sigh too brief to measure,
My King has crushed the curse of death
And I am His forever.

O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah! hallelujah!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Humbling Sent By God

"That's not going to happen to me."

This was my thought somewhere around 2 months ago. I was listening to a sermon by John Piper, & he was talking about how important it is to be in God's Word each & every day. In the midst of this, he recounted how even though he is consistently & faithfully in God's Word, he has gone through seasons of dryness. Seasons where he felt far from God, seasons where the Word seemed lifeless to him, even though he was reading it faithfully. This seemed like such an impossibility, that I thought it would never happen to me. I've been a Christian since my teens, but I'm embarrassed to say that I have never read through the entire Bible. But this year has been different. I resolved to read the Bible this year all the way through & finally found the key for me in reaching this goal: a Bible reading plan. I've been entirely faithful to it ever since the last week of December, & have never felt closer to God. My communion with Him has never felt so unwavering. So, it was unthinkable to me that even in the midst of my Bible reading that I could feel disconnected from God & lifeless. Well, God showed me.

What happened? Life did. Michael's grandmother got sick & all of our time was spent at her hospital bedside. My Bible reading fell by the wayside. And stayed there. John Piper said in that sermon that he firmly believes that these dry times are ordained by God. That God actually leads people not just through those times, but to them. Believing in God's complete sovereignty, I also believe this. Don't misunderstand me, though.  I also believe in human responsibility; Scripture clearly teaches both doctrines.  So, yes, I do believe that God brought me to this dry season, but I also hold myself responsible for laying aside my daily communion with Him in the midst of life's trials & busyness. You know what I think? I think I got too big for my britches. I got to thinking that I was doing something great by being so faithful to my Bible reading. And there was my folly. I forgot that God is the one who gave me the desire & dedication to read His Word each day. It wasn't me. And God had to show me this. He had to humble me.

This has been a painful lesson for me. Not because my pride has been wounded. It hasn't been. No, this has been painful because of the separation that I've felt from God. My Bible has lain day after day off to the side, unused. I've not communed with God in prayer. As a matter of fact, when I tried to pray, I felt like there was a darkness surrounding me. I pictured myself reaching upwards toward God, but couldn't find Him. Until yesterday. Yesterday, the one word that best describes God & my relationship to Him washed over me, & the barrier that seems almost palpable was riddled with cracks. That word? Father. Suddenly, He wasn't some far-off, aloof Almighty Sovereign (although He is that, minus the "far-off, aloof" part). Like a shot of light piercing the darkness, I remembered that He's my compassionate, loving Father. One of my favorite pictures of Him in His Fatherhood is of me, his daughter, curling up in His lap while He strokes my hair & pours out His love on me. After all, if earthly fathers can do this in their imperfection, why can't He in His infinite perfection? This is what sprang to mind. The darkness lost its stranglehold.

Then, today the barrier was torn down by one simple song. Music has always spoken to me; God has always ministered to me through song. And He did so today in a Sojourn rendition of an Isaac Watts song. The part that finally ripped down the barrier & poured in hope contained these words:

"May Your power rest on me
You are strong, when I am weak.
I can bear all things
When temptation springs,
For You sustain me all my days.

Though the trial still goes on,
Your grace will be my song!
For I can bear all things
When temptation springs,
For You sustain me all my days!
May Your power rest on me."

It's not over yet. Another thing that Piper has said, in quoting John Owen, is that our flesh fights to keep us from anything spiritual. In the front of a Bible given to Him by His mother was written, "This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book." My flesh fights to keep me from God's Word, for in that Word it hears its death knell. My flesh cannot win, it cannot hold sway as long as God wields His Sword to slay it. So, my prayer now is not that I'll be strong enough & faithful enough to read His Word, but rather that He will give me the burning desire & strength & faithfulness to read His Word. Amen.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ginger's Update

I'm just going to give a quick update about Ginger's cancer treatment for anyone who is wondering.  Since I last wrote, Ginger went through a week & a half on Prednisone to shrink her lymph nodes.  We were waiting to hear back from the oncologist that Dr. Hammond confers with, & in the course of that time (about a week), Ginger's nodes had grown & then - alarmingly - 2 other nodes that have never been there before suddenly sprang up & swelled up to tennis ball-size in a matter of days.  Poor Dr. Hammond's staff had to endure more than one sobbing/blubbering phone call from me.  They were so kind & caring.  Long story short, the nodes shrank with the Prednisone & we have had her in once for the administration of the drug that did wonders for her last summer: L-Spar.  She had a rough couple of days last week right after the chemo, but she's perked right up & is back to normal.  She goes in for another administration of L-Spar this week, & we'll find out at that time where we go from here.  I appreciate everyone's prayers & support more than I can say.  I know not everyone understands my feelings; a lot of people don't get as attached to their pets.  It's hard to explain, but I do appreciate your prayers & support.  Thank you.